Saturday, February 27, 2010

Uh Oh!

Look at how happy she is! Look at how cute this puppy is! How can anyone resist this?? This is how the Marlett's almost ended up with a new addition to the family. We were at a church function and someone was trying to get rid of this adorable new puppy. I am a sucker for puppies all by myself, but when I saw Ava hold this lil guy, it was much, much worse. He was her friend and she wanted to take him home BAD! That's crazy, we can't have a puppy. We came very close, but I think my new furniture helped me snap back to reality. Poor little Ava cried the entire way home and talked about that puppy for at least two days after that. So sad. I know I made the right decision, though. Tough part of being a parent. :(

Park Day!

Brian decided to take advantage of the nice weather (you have to jump on those days, lately) and take the kids to the park. I didn't get to go, I don't remember why, so Brian was in charge of the camera. He got some great shots...he's getting pretty good at that! I may have to start letting him be in charge. :) The kids got to run out some energy and get some sunshine. I'm sure it was good for every one's mental health.

We celebrated Valentine's Day by going to The Melting Pot (my favorite!) My parents watched the kids and we had a very nice evening. Brian was happy to report that I did not even try to talk him into going to a movie. (He thinks I like to go to movies a little too much...haha). We didn't get to sit in the back as usual because that was a deal for those who bought the Valentine package. (This included flowers, a bear, and a bottle of champagne for an additional $85...ummm, no). We sat out in the open with everyone else. At first, it felt a little weird because we have never sat in the main part of the restaurant, but we had a table right by the front window and it was really pretty. I definitely enjoyed our evening.

Ava's Valentine's Day Party

Hello, blogger friends. I know it's been awhile. I'm having problems with consistency lately. Part of that is due to the fact that I signed up for weight watchers a couple weeks ago and have been busier than usual at the gym and trying to find new recipes. I had great success with weight watchers in the past and I'm hoping for the same success again...wish me luck! :) That has nothing to do with this....sorry for the distraction. Even though I haven't been blogging, I've still been taking lots of pictures. So, in typical Crystal fashion, I will just have to backtrack.

I went to Ava's Valentine Party at school a couple weeks ago. I feel somewhat bad to report that I had a really busy day that day and I almost tried to skip it. When I told Ava that I may not make the party, she almost cried. Well, I couldn't NOT go to the party then! Needless to say, I changed my plans. I'm really glad I did. What was I thinking, anyway? These things only come around twice a year.

When I got to her class, they were already eating snacks. After that, all the parents helped them read all their Valentine's (Ava was more interested in the candy...SURPRISE!) Then they sang a song that they have been practicing to learn letter sounds (I tried to download the video, but I'm having technical difficulties).

Ava is making such amazing progress at school. She frequently tells me what letters certain words start with and she "reads" her books to me. The other day, she even told me "4+4 is 8!". What?!? She is doing math now?!? Crazy! I'm really happy I made it to her party...all that other stuff can wait.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Contemplations On My Son's 8th Brithday

Chance is eight years old today. For the past couple weeks, every time I look at him and think about his upcoming birthday, I have kind of wanted to cry. I've been trying to figure out why it is affecting me like this. After all, eight is old, but it's not THAT old. He will still be with me for quite a few more years (and I may still even have a few years before he won't listen to another word I It took me awhile to figure out what has been bothering me, but here it goes...I think. I was eight when my dad died. That was a really big year in my life. I REALLY remember being 8. That was a super tough year for me. I'm very thankful that Chance has not had to endure anything like that as of yet. It's really weird to think that at some point this year I will have spent more time with him than my own father got to spend with me. However, in the eight short years I was with my dad, he really made an impact on me. I remember how much he loved me, the mark he left on others, how he was always there to help out in any way he could. One of my favorite memories: eating Brock's candy out of a giant mixing bowl and watching Greatest American Hero. My dad did lots of little things for us to let us know how much he cared. Even after almost 24 years, I still miss him very much. I would have loved for him to have met my family. I always wonder what he would have thought of all of us. I know he would have been proud. I hope, as I sit and think about my own son turning 8, that he already has as fond of memories of me as I have of my dad. I hope I have made, and will continue to make, a profound, lasting impression on him. I hope he knows how much I love him and knows that I will always support him, no matter what. I am thankful to have those days that my own father never had, and I want to make the most of them and not take them for granted. Happy Birthday, Chance. I am already so proud of you and can't wait to see everything you accomplish in the future.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Family Party

Well, as promised, Chance also got a small family party along with his trip to the aquarium. Best of both worlds, right?? He still got lots of presents! :) Family parties are a lot more low key because I don't have to come up with goody bags and entertainment. Another plus...Chance isn't a fan of birthday cake, so I didn't have to order one of those, either...just brownies and ice cream and he was happy. We had a really good turn out of family and a few family friends. It was a fun afternoon.
He still wanted to make sure there were candles on his brownies. :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Brithday Trip

We gave Chance a birthday choice this year: he could have a local birthday party with all his friends, or he could pick one friend to take to the aquarium in Jenks (either way, he would still get to have a small, family birthday party). We figured he would choose the latter option...he has been dying to go back since we went there over the summer. He loved the stingrays...he even asked for a camera for Christmas so he could go back and take his own pictures. On a sad note, we had the trip all planned before we found out that the stingrays were not on view to the public because their tank was undergoing maintenance. We found that out the day before we left and we had to break the news to Chance. I figured that he would be devastated, but he actually handled the news really well. I think he was really excited about getting to take Rece to Tulsa with us and forgot about all the other sadness. On the plus side, we told one of the volunteers how sad he was about the stingrays, how he wanted to be an oceanographer, and how we had come all the way from Oklahoma City to see the stingrays, and he offered to give us all free passes to come back in May when the tank is finished. Chance even gets some extra one on one time to interact with the stingrays by himself. He's pretty excited about all of that. I think this kind of party was a really good option for Chance who always gets a little overwhelmed with all the people. He really seemed to like the smaller option. Grandma even go to come with us. It was a really good day. Here are a few of the pictures I took on his birthday adventure.
They wanted a picture at the entrance. I thought this turned out really cute.

This was a Horseshoe Crab touch tank.

For some reason, the shrimp was Daddy's favorite.
Taking some pics...

Ava was sad and wouldn't would think she really got eaten by a shark...haha.

This one turned out a little better. :)

Chance wanted to sit by the giant fish tank forever!
Token pic of Mommy and Daddy.
I think watching the otter was the highlight of this trip. His name was Swim Jim and he was an energetic little guy. Ava even wanted to buy a stuffed otter at the gift shop. She carries it with her everywhere.
This one cracked me up!
It was a great day at the aquarium! A good time was had by all.

Chance's Little Buddy

Chance has a new gerbil (Ninja the devil hamster got sick and had to go to the "hamster hospital". This is probably a good thing because he was so mean that he could be looked at, but not touched). When we got Chance another rodent friend, the pet store guy recommended a gerbil. This was a good choice, indeed. Blaster (the gerbil) is MUCH nicer than the devil hamster. Chance plays with him all the time and Blaster LOVES it! He is a very sociable little guy. I tell Brian that I feel like he even gets excited when people come in the room. He starts running around like he wants to get out. It is really funny. I'm glad we finally found a little pet that Chance can have fun with. He is his little buddy. I joke that I could see Chance sneaking the thing to school in his pocket. If he wasn't such a rule follower, he would probably try it. He likes everyone, but he likes Chance best. He is much calmer for him. He just crawls right up Chance's arm and sits on his funny. I'm glad they get along so well. As long as he doesn't get loose and hide in my house, we can all be friends. :)

A Little Dinner Creativity

I've been having a hard time getting Ava to eat anything lately that is even remotely healthy. The other day, her class was talking about the letter "O" and she said that they ate an octopus at school. I remembered making those when I was a kid. Now I have been spending a considerable amount of time making little octopus hot dogs for her. She likes I just have to figure out some other food items that I can transform into other animal creatures...maybe that is the key to getting Ava to eat food. Hmmm...I may start getting really creative. Haha. Chance wanted one, too, but he wanted his in a bun. I thought it looked really funny with all those "legs" coming out of his bread. Of course, then he told me that he couldn't eat the legs, only the head because the legs tasted funny.'s the exact same thing, Chance! These kids come up with the funniest things. The bottom line: octopus food for Ava is a win, but Chance will stick with more conventional food so it doesn't change the taste.

Jump Zone!

The kids had a birthday party at Jump Zone the other day. It conveniently fell in the middle of the snow storm which was a good thing. They really needed to get out of the house. It was great to have a place where they could bounce out some of that crazy energy that they had been storing up. YAY Jump Zone! :)

Snowed In...AGAIN!

As I write this, days after this particular event, it is actually snowing AGAIN. Can you believe this is Oklahoma?? I don't think I've seen this much snow since I was in the third grade! Global warming?!? REALLY?? How much can one summer girl take, anyway? Just Kidding...sort of. My kids have really been enjoying this crazy weather we've been having (may not enjoy it so much when they are going to school in June, but they're happy now...and we're not talking about later. At least not yet.) Anyway, if my kids are happy, that makes at least half our family. At least they had one more fantastic snow of the season because they did not really get to play in the first one because they both had bronchitis. Needless to say, they lived it up this time. :)

I can't tell you how many icicles that Ava has consumed...

Their cheeks got so red every time we took them out that they could only stay out for a few minutes at a time, then we would have to come back in, take all the wet things off, dry them, and repeat the whole process a few minutes later. FUN.
I've gotten lots of compliments on this picture...funny thing is, Brian is the one who took it. Good job, Babe. He's quite the photographer when he wants to be. I love the combination of those rosy cheeks and her bright, stripey scarf and hat. It really stands out. I told Brian he looked like the uni-bomber...but at least he was
Snow angels... now that's a classic. Chance did not want to participate. He didn't want to get wet. I really like this pic of me and the kids...another good shot by Bri.
Icicles were another crazy event of this particular storm. They were everywhere. Some of the biggest ones I've ever seen.
Ava crashed in various places all over the yard. She was completely soaked, but she had lots of fun. With this particular storm, we ended up with about 1 1/2 inches of ice and 6-8 inches of snow. The kids missed 4 days of school and there was even a weekend in the middle. Crazy. Let's all keep our fingers crossed for no more accumulating snow that causes school closings. I would rather save our free days for times when we are not all trapped in the house.
It was a little nice, though.
Things like this don't really come around all that often.